The BBC and Commercial Radio have unveiled plans for a unique online streaming system that will give users access to radio stations all over the country.
Tipped for release next year, the new software will be called the UK RadioPlayer and will allow listeners to access every licensed radio station in the UK, including BBC-owned radio stations. Users will be able to stream on-demand and listen live to their chosen stations.
The screen shots above were provided to Latest Gadgets by the BBC along with the following statement “These images are mock-ups, designed to illustrate the concept of a UK Radioplayer. They do not reflect the eventual feature-set or design of the Radioplayer, nor the brands within it.”
Not only will the player give listeners far more choice in the number of radio stations they listen to but they will also have the chance to search through channels for the specific subjects, music genres and even song titles. Although the interface will be the same for each station, radio stations featured on the player will be allowed to add their own content. This could potentially include features like weather updates, travel alerts, adverts, track listings and shopping links that will allow listeners to purchase the music they are hearing.
The player also comes with a pre-set feature that will allow listeners to save their favourite radio stations and access them at the click of a button.
The BBC’s move comes after the success of streaming software such as Spotify and Last.fm, which have given internet users access to millions of songs online, free of charge. Once the PC version of the UK RadioPlayer is launched, it is thought that plans might also be unveiled to adapt the service for Macs, phones and IPTV.
The project involves partnerships between the BBC and the Guardian Media Group, Radio Centre and Global Radio (the owner of popular radio stations like Classic FM, Capital FM and Heart 106.2). The developers are still in talks with the BBC Trust and the RadioCentre board but it is hoped the player will be released in early 2010.
Ashley Tabor, Global Group Founder and CEO, made the following comments about the new plans: ‘Radioplayer has been developed with the listener in mind and is a big step forward for the radio industry as a whole, providing further cohesion between commercial radio and the BBC as we drive to Digital.’